Phenomenological Criticism

Phenomenology is a method of Literary Criticism which inspects the text without presuppositions about ontology or epistemology. (Ontology is the theory of the nature of being, Epistemology that of the nature of knowledge). To the phenomenologist any object, although it has existance in time and space, achieves meaning or intelligibility through the active use of a consciousness in which the object registers. Phenomenology finds reality in the physical realm of awareness. To accomplish the analysis of the object as it registers in the consciousness, the phenomenologist suspends all presuppositions, inferences, or judgements about the object outside the consciousness. Phenomenological criticism sees the work of art as an aesthetic work, existing only in the mind of the perceiver. they tend to have little interest in the ontology of the aesthetic object, a major concern of the New Critics, and instead value the affective aspects of he work.

People of the Movement

Edmund Husserl
Roman Ingarden
Martin Heidegger
Jean-Paul Sartre

Related Movements

When phenomenological philosophy is applied to criticism, the result is a form of existential criticism, such as that practiced by the Geneva School

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